Dr.-Franz-Rehrl-Platz Development

Urban Intervention

The Dr.-Franz-Rehrl-Platz is located in the Historic Center of the City of Salzburg, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. The proposal is a site-specific yet contemporary response to this complex and heterogeneous setting, a residential complex that includes garden dwellings, a multilevel apartment structure, mixed-use retail space, and a multifunctional podium providing connective support spaces between the complex and the adjoining existing hospital, including doctors’ offices.

Given the historical nature of the site context, extensive research was included in the design approach. Salzburg’s rich urban fabric was largely developed in the period from the Middle Ages to the 19th century, during which it existed as a city-state ruled by a prince-archbishop.

The site itself is 60,870 ft2 / 5,655 m2, located at the foot of the Kapuzinerberg mountain, and is framed by an emergency hospital to the east, the spacious park of Villa Neustein to the west, and Dr.-Franz-Rehrl-Platz, with adjoining villas along the Salzach River to the south.

With the intention of strengthening the connection between urban and natural spaces, it was necessary that our intervention would not interfere with the existing visual axes between Arenbergstraße, Hohensalzburg Castle, and the Untersberg mountain. To this end, the green roof of the new building is seen as an extension of the slopes of Kapuzinerberg, terminating as a single entity in the plaza. The facade’s glass elements are positioned at various angles to reflect the historical buildings neighboring the site, and to mediate between interior private and exterior public spaces. Shifting between transparency and opacity, the building’s appearance changes as the light turns over the course of a day or the cycle of the seasons, establishing ever-varying relationships with the natural and urban conditions surrounding it.

The residential units are defined by flexible floor plans, state-of-the-art features, and the immediate presence of nature, which is accessible through expansive windows, ensuring the highest quality of life. The design envisions a variety of unique viewing experiences, from those available in the garden apartments facing the park of Villa Neustein to those possible in the multilevel residential building with its unique views of Hohensalzburg Castle. Rooms in this building are bathed in daylight thanks to optimized exposures, contain tactile materials and surfaces, and are availed west-facing balconies. Moreover, the green-roof terraces offer communal space for social encounters. By contrast, the garden apartments with their individually adaptable gardens are designed for maximum privacy while maintaining urban presence.

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LocationSalzburg, Austria
TypeResidential / Urban Planning
Area95,800 ft2 / 8,900 m2
ClientAH Projektentwicklung GmbH
TeamBettina Zerza, Principal
Berardo Matalucci, Chrysokona Mavrou, Philip Weller

Vehicle Circulation

Pedestrian Circulation

Bicycle Path

Public Green Area

Semi-Private Green Area

Private Green Area

Unesco World Heritage Site